Law Commission start preliminary research into Welsh agricultural law at the request of the Welsh Government

The Law Commission is today launching a new project, beginning their preliminary research into agricultural law in Wales.

The Welsh Government has asked the Law Commission to review agricultural law in Wales and consider how it could be brought together under a code of law. The aim of any such code would be to simplify and modernise the law and to improve its accessibility. The scope of the project will not, however, extend to policy reform or review the substance of agricultural policy in Wales.

The law which governs the agricultural sector in Wales is spread across a patchwork of legislation, which makes the law difficult to access and in places, hard to understand. Agriculture is a devolved area of law in Wales meaning the power to make legislation governing the Welsh agricultural sector rests with the Welsh Parliament (the Senedd Cymru). However, this hasn’t always been the case and agricultural law in Wales comes from different law-making bodies; namely the UK Parliament and the Senedd Cymru. In addition, some of the agricultural law enacted by the European Union (EU) whilst the United Kingdom was a member of the EU has been incorporated into the national law which applies to Wales.

Agricultural law in Wales may therefore contain provisions which apply to Wales only, to England only, or to both England and Wales. Some of that legislation dates back almost eighty years and in places uses outdated language. Some enactments will also contain provisions which have been repealed, or which may be redundant in practice.

This project is currently in the scoping stage, which means the Law Commission will carry out a detailed analysis of the current law, to determine what a code of agricultural law for Wales might look like.

Further details are available on the Agricultural Law in Wales project page.